In The Looking Glass

Participation is the essence of Democracy. The old style town hall meeting allowed many people in the town to be present and to speak their mind and present their views. When a vote was taken on an issue even if your view did not prevail you had made your position known and you were heard. Because you had participated in the process, you could more willingly accept the outcome. Although a person did not agree with the decision the knowledge you were a part of the process provided a sense of belonging. The old style town hall meeting is difficult if not impossible to achieve today.

In the current time with massive city populations in what have become mega cities, we still need to participate. Without participation the acceptance of the result is more difficult if not impossible. There are ways to participate including attending various public meetings, membership in a political party, involvement in campaigns and most importantly by voting.

If voting is the action of Democracy then knowing who and what to vote for is the responsibility of Democracy. If you accept that voting is the essential act and you vote responsibly, with knowledge, then accepting the outcome is much easier. It enables a person to understand who or what prevailed even if one disagrees. However if you voted for a person because you had heard of the person or because the candidate said things that you wanted to hear without any factual basis, then the outcome is less likely to be acceptable. The act of Democracy, voting, without the responsibility of possessing knowledge of the candidate or issue has to frustrate you if your view does not prevail. More importantly to not do both vote and have knowledge is not only frustrating but an affront to Democracy. Both actions are required for Democracy to work.

If you have done neither or only one action then you have no right to be frustrated. In the current political climate when the result leaves one angry that is most debilitating to a person and to the Democratic process. Perhaps some of current “angry” voters should look more inward for someone to blame for their current perceived lifestyle. A mirror may be a perfect place to start.


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